AbstractRecently the successful formation of PEO coatings on zinc alloy in a phosphate aluminate electrolyte was shown. The produced composite coatings contain various mixtures of ZnO and ZnAl2O4. In frame of the current study, the properties of the formed coatings including adhesion/cohesion, wear, corrosion and photocatalytic activity were analysed to identify possible applications. However, the coatings show internal porosity and a sponge-like structure. Thus the cohesion within the coating is quite low. Pull-off tests have demonstrated clear rupture within the PEO layer at strength values as low as 1 MPa. The photocatalytic activity is limited, in spite of the formation of a higher amount of ZnO at shorter treatment times. Interestingly, the composite coatings of ZnO and higher amounts of ZnAl2O4 spinel showed a higher activity, but not sufficient for fast and effective catalytic cleaning applications.